Origin of Ice Hockey
"Hockey is Canada's national game and is the greatest contribution to world sport."
-The Canadian Encyclopedia (2000)
The Oxford Dictionary defines origin as "the point at which something comes into existence." In other words, it is the start or the beginning of something. In 1998, Statistics Canada ranked hockey as the second most popular sport among Canada for all ages; however, because of the recent success of Canadian hockey teams, hockey has become Canada's favourite sport (Canadian Press, retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews on May 19, 2004). Hockey has been played for longer than any of us has been alive. The majority of Canadians will have some knowledge of the game's greatest players, such as Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, and Maurice "the Rocket" Richard. Most Canadians will also be familiar with professional teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Montreal Canadians. However, very few will know the history and birth of their country's favourite sport.
This is because hockey was not invented (like Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891) - instead, the game evolved, grew, and changed over many decades to form the hockey that is played internationally today by people of all ages. There have been numerous debates about the birthplace of hockey - specifically between Montreal, Quebec; Kingston, Ontario; Windsor, Nova Scotia; and Halifax (Dartmouth), Nova Scotia. Each of the previous cities present convincing and accountable arguments, but hockey was originated in Halifax-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Montreal, Quebec, is one of Canada's "hockey-towns". It is home to the Montreal Canadians, who have won the most Stanley Cups in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL) with twenty-four (Retrieved from http://statshockey.homestead.com/stanleycup.html on May 19, 2004). Montrealers, along with some historians, claim that the first game of hockey was played in Montreal (and...